Amy Padgett Thomas is a mover. Since she was a young child, she’s reveled in the freedom of movement and the way her body felt refreshed after exercising, moving, and breathing. Then, in 2000, she walked into Maya Yoga for the first time and realized, yoga gave her the same feeling she has always loved. “I would like to say I stuck with yoga after [that first class], but that would be far from the truth. I let what I would consider my crazy way of life and bad habits win. I suffered through 2 back surgeries, had two beautiful babies, and moved 11 times!” But the seed was planted.
Yoga found Amy again in 2010 and her love for the practice flourished. “It re-awakened my need and helped me realize my yearning for exercise was actually for yoga. It opened me up to a real emotional and physical detox. It was time to stop hurting myself with bad habits and bad choices and start listening to my inner voice and begin to take care of my mind, body and soul,” she explains.
Amy’s steady yoga practice transformed her emotional awareness off the yoga mat.
Amy admits that it’s work. It’s hard work. Some days are challenging and painful. Some days, the movement and the breathing are cathartic. “Yoga has helped me face what I don’t like about myself and has helped to give me the courage to change those things. Some days it is a lot to face and can be very painful. There is a lot I don’t want to see about myself that yoga makes me see. Sometimes, I feel like it would be easier to continue my bad habit of blaming and shaming others or continue to play the victim role. But that is why I am here. It is something necessary.”
She says it gave her a new outlook on the life events that come her way. “I know it continues to mold me into the best person I should be in this life. My peace and serenity, and my focus on taking care of myself are all thanks to yoga.”
Amy was enamored with this practice that offers so many opportunities for change and personal growth. She completed Maya Yoga’s 40 Hour Teacher Training Course, she completed a two-week intensive with Tim Miller in Carlsbad California, and then she completed Maya Yoga’s 200 Hour Teacher Training Course in 2016. What she discovered through this was a major breakthrough: she didn’t have to be a perfect teacher in order to be a teacher. She could just be herself. She could continue to do the necessary work on the yoga mat and overcome any negative obstacles that clouded her vision of who she truly was.
Amy considers this ‘necessary work’ the best thing she has ever done in her life and she is grateful for every lesson. She says, “It has strengthened my relationship with God and has allowed me to let go and allow my spiritual side to shine through. It has given me courage to do the things I love and to love the things I do.”